GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.

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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinfulness thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in pow'r, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!


"Such a familiar hymn. Why choose it?" I am asked. "Yes, but when's the last time you've heard it?" I respond.
In the 1950's "Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee" was sung literally every Sunday at Bethel Lutheran Church. Every Sunday God was addressed as the Holy One. And connected with this God were saints of old laying down their crowns and cherubim and seraphim falling down in awe. And concerning our state: "Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinfulness thy glory cannot see."
And whether you were a child or an adult you hesitated to approach the altar rail and you certainly didn't approach the actual altar beyond it with the picture of Jesus kneeling in the garden. You just didn't do that. And before the service people were quiet. Maybe a few whispers but that was all.
That sense of the holy, of the otherness of God, where do you find it today (or, rather, where are you found by it)? Does it happen during a nature walk? Or when you revisit the church camp where you sensed a call to something greater? Or—like the song from the 50's—in the newborn babies' cry? Or around the death and funeral of a parent or friend?

Holy God, Three in One, mystery of love made human for us; we fall before you and you raise us up in the wonder of the mystery of you. Grant to us that quality of your holiness that lifts up the broken, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and visits the oppressed. Amen.

Bruce W. Hanstedt
Manitowoc, WI

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This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.